Sunday, August 26, 2007
The Key Elements to My Healing
So you understand by now that I was healed, that depression was truly no longer an issue by now, but how did it work? How exactly did that healing take place? Was it random? Kind of like pulling the lever on a slot machine, and winning, but not being able to say how, or to do it again? Is it something that could be repeated in your life?
What is the science behind healing? Is it something you can really see, touch, take ahold of? Could it really be a possibility for you?
I think we'd have to examine the key elements in my healing. What were the things that really played a major role?
Remember I said I'd prayed with Jed at the beginning of the depression, and had asked God to heal me? How did I know to do that? Why did I believe that God cared enough to do anything?
I'd had a close friend in high school, Paul, who was diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer. I was attending a youth group at the time, and we were all weighed on very heavily by this news. Paul was one of our dearest friends. We asked the youth group leader if we couldn't ask God to heal Paul: since he was so young and since it goes against all human nature for a strong young man to die at the very beginning of his living.
Our youth leader said yes, but hesitantly. He didn't want us to get our hopes up because he suspected that Paul would die of the cancer.
Now in the course of attending the youth group, my friends and I had heard our youth pastor share the gospel: that if we would ask Jesus to come into our hearts; believing that He had died on the cross for our sins, we would be saved. So we knew about heaven and hell. We knew that if you'd been saved, you would go to heaven when you died, and that if you refused to believe in Jesus as your Savior, you would go to hell. So we also knew that if Paul died without believing in Jesus, he wasn't headed for heaven. We prayed in earnest.
Paul had his arm removed, and had chemotherapy. He was an amazing man. I call him a man, even though he was only 16 because he lived manhood more in that year or two of battling cancer than I've seen many men do in perfect health. He lost his hair, and wore a hat. He got his driver's license, and drove with one hand. He did up his belt, tied his shoes, and attracted university girls. He was really amazing.
After his healing, he and I were discussing deep things, (like all teens do) and he told me that he'd had a talk with his mom about God, and he was a believer. He said he'd talked it over with God, and he felt like it was all good. (Those of you who knew him can probably imagine him saying it just like that. : ) He said if he died now, he knew that he'd go to heaven. I prayed with him again (just to make sure, ; ) and then we left it at that.
I started dating Jed sometime later, and didn't see Paul much. He was dating a wonderful girl, and had a promising future, but the cancer had come back. He knew what that meant, but I didn't. He said there was a tumor the size of a softball on his lung. He knew he would die, but somehow, I didn't. Not very long after my last visit with Paul, his girlfriend called me to tell me he'd passed on.
I really lost my senses for awhile. I had no way of processing it. My friends and I had prayed, and Paul had been healed... how could this happen? I was torn up inside- he was one of my best and most faithful friends.
I got in my car to go see Jed, and as I drove I felt very afraid, and like I could easily lose my nerve and crash. Then I felt a presence beside me in my car, in the passenger seat. I was not a very religious person at the time, and not prone to supernatural experiences of any type, but when I felt this presence, it was very real, and suddenly I felt peace.
I think an angel had come to strengthen me, and I drove the rest of the way to Jed's house safely.
Paul had been healed, been saved, and he went to heaven.
I grieved him for a long time, until God showed me that he wasn't really dead. He was in heaven, perfectly alive. That helped me to let go, and to know that I couldn't get him back, but it was OK. He was still alive, and I would see him again.
Have you lost someone like that? Can you trust God to keep them for you, and know that it will be OK?
Paul's life was what paved the way in mine to believe for healing. I had seen it with my own eyes. Why wouldn't I believe it?
2. The word of God.
I was never a very religious person as I said, but I'd always believed in God. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So over the course of my life, I had inadvertently heard a lot of the word of God. My parents took me to Sunday School when I was young, I read my bible since I was a voracious reader, and I was "adopted" by a Christian girl, who really loved me, and cared about whether or not I believed and was saved. She took me to girl's club at her church, ate lunch with me everyday, and when I was old enough to drive, she asked me to come to her church with her every Sunday.
Side note: The church she was from, and her parents must be commended here, because at 12 she had been taught to care about the eternal destiny of her fellow 12 year old. Pretty amazing!
So even though we are talking about the role that the word of God played in my healing, you can see that it wouldn't have played any role without people.
I heard the bible preached a lot over the course of my life, the problem was: I wasn't really using it. But enough of it was getting in that when the lady at the prayer counselling session said to me: "Do you believe that God can heal you?" I knew in my heart that the answer was yes.
The word of God also really played in integral role in helping me KEEP my healing.
Every morning when Elijah would wake up, I would put in a Veggietales movie for him to watch, and I would read The Message. If you have been depressed for a long time, you may know what I'm talking about: my brain was not at top function then. I had actually lost intelligence during my depression, so I needed an easy, readable version of the bible in order to understand what it meant. The Message was really good for that. I read through the New Testament in 6 months, which for many people would be very slow, but for me it was life changing. I also began to devour books about the bible as well, and supernaturally, I was understanding them and really enjoying them! I called my neighbour many mornings to share with her how excited I was about what I was learning!
One of the first books I read was Living Free in Christ by Neil Anderson. I also went through his "Steps to Freedom in Christ". I needed to be strengthening my spirit with the word of God that way, so that each day I was empowered to live this new, healed life.
(Another side note: I don't think this book was out when I was first healed, but I noticed when doing these links that Neil Anderson has a book about overcoming depression. I bet it would be good. There was a DVD also, for those of us who are visual learners.)
My body had been healed, my mind, my emotions, but life on this earth is like being a salmon trying desperately to get back to the place of your birth, and having pressure against you all the way. If I had stopped swimming and fighting (reading my bible, and feeding my spirit so that I would grow) I would have been washed up again. I know it.
The word of God was also integral in my healing in that Lydia and the other ladies used the scriptures to counsel me. They told me what the bible said about my lifestyle, about God's forgiveness, about his healing, and about Jesus' cross. They counseled me to forgive people in my past (distant past, and recent), and I believed what they said. The word of God brought faith alive in my heart, and my faith brought healing to pass in my life! Faith, and the Word, working together!
So can you have that too? Of course. Can you get a bible? If so, read some everyday, even when it seems difficult, and when it seems like it's not making any difference. Have you ever seen someone plant a garden? They plant seeds. If nothing visible happens right away, do they get discouraged? Of course not! My dad always plants a huge garden- he plants the seeds early, and heavy. If his carrots really didn't come up after all, what would he do? He would plant more! Keep planting the word of God in your life, and it will come up! He will see to it that it will!
3. Forgiveness. Remember I said I forgave during the prayer counselling? I had been storing up bitterness, and hatred in my heart for years. That poison was affecting my whole body! When I forgave, I eliminated the place in my life that had been feeding the depression. The Holy Spirit came to live inside me, and began to produce things like love instead.
You may be bitter at someone too, just seething at what they did to ruin your life. Even more than I know and understand, Jesus does. He wants you to forgive that person, so He can forgive you, and get rid of all that poison you were storing up in your heart. You don't really like the bitterness. For awhile the anger makes you feel powerful, and it distracts you from your fears and hurts. But the bitterness is making you sick. You have power in Jesus Christ to let it go. Don't think that the person who hurt you will get off and there will be no justice if you forgive them. Vengeance belongs to the Lord, but He is more just than you are.
He wants you to forgive for your own sake. If you cast all your worries and cares of this on Him, He will take care of you. He will give you the power to forgive and let it go, and healing will be a result.